Wind Storm-y Night || Ride The Wind || Speedy Blue Hedgehog
This is the very first batch of Mega Man Maker levels on Indie Overlook! While levels for this game have previously been covered on an individual basis, they’ll be covered in these small groups from now on like with other player-created content. Today’s batch of levels is loosely themed around speed with two Wind Storm levels and a massive Sonic the Hedgehog reference!
Wind Storm-y Night || Level ID: 175672 || Creator: Oof Man
We’re starting off strong with my personal favorite level from this batch! This extremely vertical level tasks players with ascending sets of vertical columns using nothing but the Wind Storm. What I really like here is the way spikes and checkpoints are used. Spikes on the tops of columns neatly divide them into small, varied challenges with safe spots and checkpoints scattered about evenly and frequently. More impressively, the decision was made to place spikes on the bottoms of columns as well, forcing players to bounce upward accurately and carefully rather than just spamming Wind Storm to skyrocket to the end.
There’s a sparseness to this level which I appreciate; a handful of enemies are places at just the right spots to add tension and the small shifts in column placement lead to dramatic changes in the action. The only flaw in this level is the boss fight, which is an incredibly easy fight against Magnet Man where you can quickly dispatch him with Brick Drop.
Ride The Wind || Level ID: 176287 || Creator: Lv27Markerman
Ride The Wind plays around with Wind Storm in more ways than Wind Storm-y Night, though this added variety doesn’t always hit the mark. Yoku blocks play a large role this time around, though you won’t need to worry much about jumping between them. Instead, they exist so you can bounce Wind Storm off of them. Sometimes these blocks are on the ground while at other times they’re aligned more vertically, forming a wall which you must scale before it disappears. tough enemies like Big Eyes are rather common, but they’re mainly used for puzzles where you must find the right angle to hit them with Wind Storm without putting yourself in danger.
Though the checkpointing is fine early on, it really falls off in the second half, which mostly consists of navigating a multi-screen maze using Wind Storm. There’s also a baffling decision for the final challenge before the boss; you can either make a virtually impossible ascent up multiple floors fills with tough enemies or simply Wind Storm spam your way up the side of this makeshift building.
The boss fight against Knight Man is one area where Ride The Wind easily trumps Wind Storm-y Night. You’re confined to a vertical shaft on the left side of the screen and must use Wind Storm to ascend the shaft and send more of these miniature tornadoes through a gap to hack away at Knight Man’s legs. This room design simultaneously adds depth to your defense as you can no longer easily avoid Knight Man’s mace and must rely on timing and your skill with Wind Storm bouncing to stay out of harm’s way. I love how much Lv27Markerman is willing to take risks and play around with the core mechanics of this level and, even if some of those risks ultimately fall flat, the high points here are fantastic.
Speedy Blue Hedgehog || Level ID: 176254 || Creator: Mitometo
Speedy Blue Hedgehog is a fun Oil Slider skating level, but the graphics steal the show here. This whole level is one big reference to Sonic’s famous Green Hill Zone. While it doesn’t follow the exact layout of any incarnation, it most closely evokes the version from the first Sonic game in every way it can. A checkerboard tileset, palm trees in the background, a bridge with robotic fish jumping up at you, plenty of spikes and springs, branching paths, and red robotic sea creatures all come together to pay homage to the wonders of blast processing.
Outside of the aesthetics, this is a solid Oil Slider level with some challenging jumps and good checkpointing, though it doesn’t do anything in particular gameplay-wise to stand out from other levels built around this weapon. Giving players Ring Boomerang for the final confrontation with Knight Man also makes for a nice final reference.